Saturday, June 18, 2016

What is time? And how does one purchase more of it?

Elder Pickett, Elder Terry, Elder Beaser, Elder Trythall, Elder Petersen, Elder Needham- Elders from the Prague District

As is indicated by my title, this transfer has absolutely flown by. Especially this past week. I barely even know what's going on anymore. There are a few things that I am certain of. I shall list them below.  
  • The first, and foremost is that there is going to be a baptism today in Prague! A woman from Nigeria who lives here in Prague and is married to a member is getting baptized, as well as the daughter of the member from a previous marriage. I have met her a few times on exchanges, and they are really awesome, so we are all very excited about that.
  • Secondly is the madness that was visa work this past week. The first appointment on Thursday was a group coming to pick up their residence cards at the final visit. That included me. But I wasn't able to get mine, because my visa hasn't yet actually expired, and that is actually a requirement for obtaining the long term card. So I get to go back. Which I was going to have to do anyways, so it's not actually a big deal. The lady helping me felt really bad about it, but it was totally okay.
  • The one on Friday was really, really stressful leading up to it. It was the first step in the visa process for the 7 missionaries in their second transfer here. For that, they need about a billion different papers, all of which I am responsible for obtaining, filling out, or changing the information so that everything applies to them. I found many mistakes, many times, but I think that in the end I had it all correct. That is the hope. That Friday morning included such fun things as: a last minute trip to the notary to get a document notarized that I has messed up on the first time through, a call from one of the companionships who lives 3.5 hours away by train, telling me their train had an unforeseen delay, finishing checking over, and still finding, mistakes on the green form of doom (the application paper), and some rain. Just for fun. However, all went smoothly so that everyone who needed to be there was able to be there, at the right time, with all the proper documentation I was required to provide. I was glad to finish that off.
  • This week has been really difficult. Mostly because, with all of these forms, and with Elder Terry getting orders ready for next week's zone conferences, we have had very little time to go out and really contact, or to focus on the missionary aspect of our work here. It is a difficult balance here in the office sometimes of doing everything that we have to here, and also putting in the time to do what we have been called here to really do. We have still been able to find time to meet with two of the YSA recent converts here in Prague, both of whom are awesome. We talked about the importance of the scriptures and of preparing to receive revelation, and reading in the Book of Mormon. I love the power that comes from the Book of Mormon. It is great to know that when we need a spiritual boost, that we can always turn to the scriptures and find something for ourselves or for those we are striving to teach and help.
  • Also, on Monday we had the Young Artist Chamber Players, a group from Utah came and performed a concert for us on Monday evening. They are extremely talented and did a phenomenal job. My favorite song that they did was "We'll Bring the World His Truth." It was a very close up performance, and they did such a good job, and that song is one of my favorites. It was a great spiritual boost, and I was grateful to be there for it.
  • There is try in the gospel! So you can pick yourself up and try, try again! Keep at your scripture reading,  the blessings are there. I have another talk for you from a BYU speech: "Nourishing the Tree" -Kenneth A Solen. It's a good one.
  • For Caroline:  I think I might miss your birthday party this year...I will probably be unavailable next year too, unfortunately. But I am working on sending a little something to you. It is small, but still coming, along with a good personal note, detailing many important things (i.e. how you can take over the world).  As long as everything goes as planned and today doesn't explode like most of our days do, I'll send it off today. So it should get to you...who knows when. Because I don't understand global postal at all. 
My spiritual thought for this week is on "preparation." As I have learned this transfer, it is very important to prepare for a visa appointment. The missionaries have to be notified, the paperwork has to be completed, transportation has to be arranged beforehand, and an appointment has to be made. There is a lot of work, but as long as I do it properly, things flow pretty smoothly. The same can be applied to spiritual appointments. When we go to Sacrament meeting, when we kneel to pray, and when we open the scriptures, we need to be prepared. Prepared for the revelation that we are searching for, prepared for the experience and communication that we will have with the Lord. So my challenge to you all this week is to take the necessary steps and time to prepare. I know that blessings with follow. Thanks for all the support and prayers!
And Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there! They rock.

-Elder Pickett

Mom note:  There is a great backstory about Brad’s visa office work.  He received his first visa paperwork in the mail last summer while he was at BYU.  It involved getting more passport pictures, filling out very carefully and legibly all the sections with personal information and getting it notarized.  There was a lot of discussion back and forth about following directions perfectly since it is a legal document.  He finally got it all done and left the completely forms in a box at Aunt Jean’s in Provo.  So he had to redo it and under the watchful detail oriented eyes of Mom this time.  Clearly… he was preparing for his visa assignment.  

From a member of the Prague Ward who took the Elders to Vysehrad Castle:
Good day Elders, greetings and photos from Saturday's outing to the ancient Vysehrad
We are under the statue of St. Wenceslas , which 
stood on Wenceslas Square in the early 19th century . 

Elders Petersen and Needham illustrate " Sarka and Ctirad " at the famous statues 

and finally the walls of Vysehrad, from which jumped Šemík with Horymír . View of the castle .

Gothic Towers of Vyserhrad

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